Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

17333174Rating: 5 stars

Series: Kate Daniels #9

So much happened, and it was completely unexpected! There wasn’t a dull moment. Lots of humor. Roman was the perfect wedding officiator/organizer. Why doesn’t he have his own series? I love that guy. Finally there was plenty of page time with Roland!!! He’s fascinating. I want to hate him but I can’t. Julie’s relationship with Roland was explored although I’m still not sure that bastard hasn’t corrupted her in some way no one is expecting. The reappearance of a certain character was great. I did not see that coming at all, but it was a very interesting twist.

Kate is one hell of a kick ass woman! She was on her own a lot. It was a good change to have her and Curran operate independently. People were there for her, but she made all of the important decisions by herself. It really felt like she was the guardian of Atlanta. Her magical skills were off the charts! Lots of introspection in this one since power was beginning to corrupt Kate while she tried to remain true to herself. I liked seeing her evil side emerge.

There were two things I didn’t like about the book. One is that Hugh wasn’t in it. It wasn’t a big deal, but he was mentioned a fair amount, which made his absence more notable. The second thing is the predictions from the witches. I’m not a fan of stories where events are dictated by a predestined fate. Kate’s future isn’t set in stone, but knowing something was likely to happen seemed to lead to the eventuality of those events. That was a minor annoyance. The rest of the book was so damn good that it didn’t matter.

Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire

51whx4kpkdlRating: 4.5 stars

Series: Toby Daye #10

Many rulers on the west coast had a conclave to determine what should be done with the alchemical breakthrough Walther discovered in the last book. Of course nothing goes as planned when Toby is around. It didn’t take long for before the nobility was either being attacked or killed. The political part of the story emphasized how divided opinions are amongst the nobility about the fairness of their laws and changelings. The murder mystery definitely brought some much needed action and entertainment to the story. Not much happened to advance the overarching storyline, which as a die hard fan of this series was a disappointment. If something useful had been learned or if there had been a sex that was not glossed over, I would have given this 5 stars.

I miss the times when Toby was struggling to make her way in the world. A lack of respect is something she will always face because of her heritage, but as she keeps making friends in high places it’s not quite the same. It’s still good; it’s just different. For someone who lacks diplomacy skills she has managed fairly well in the political arena. Although her abilities have piqued the interest of some, it’s just as much a liability as it is an asset. For every friend she gains, she gains 3 new enemies. Toby was just as entertaining as always and pushed the limits of what is socially acceptable.

Tybalt’s role was much smaller than in the last few books. It was necessary for him to keep his distance from Toby for political reasons, but damn I missed having him around more. The Luidaeg had plenty of page time though. She’s always good for a laugh or for frightening the nobility. Toby did have the opportunity to ride her blood, but I have no clue what the significance was of the scene she glimpsed. Quinton was around a lot. After reading Full of Briars it’s hard to mesh his inner thoughts with his behavior in this. They’re not the same. I like him, but couldn’t help but wonder what type of thoughts were going through his head as events unfolded. Was he really as open minded as he appeared to be? WTH is he going to think when he learns the truth about his heritage?

The pacing was slow for the first quarter of the book and progressively became more action packed after that. I’ll always love this series, but I’m dying for something big to happen. Certain scenes in this were unforgettable, particularly one towards the end with Toby and Tybalt. Toby made amends with another character, but I have mixed feelings about that. It’s not one of my favorite books in the series, but it was much better than the last one.

Hound and Key by Rhiannon Held

31133685-_uy200_Rating: 2 stars

Hound and Key were were two of the five powers that made up the hand of the gods. Unconventional supernatural creatures are always a good thing in UF. The powers weren’t as cool as I initially thought they’d be. They could be used to kill but in many other aspects were lame. Key’s was the most useful. Unlocking things can definitely come in handy. Breath was a force to be reckoned with, but aside from killing or threatening to kill it wasn’t interesting. Hound and Map’s powers were awfully similar. Both were used to find people except the methods were different. It wasn’t necessary to have two characters with such similar powers especially when it wasn’t an amazing power to begin with. I still don’t know what the hell it was Lantern could do. I must have skimmed over it if it was mentioned.

Nothing about this blew me away. The world building was okay. The romance happened too quickly. The main couple was preferable over some of the other possible relationships, but I wouldn’t have cared if things didn’t work out either. I’m not a big fan of stories where characters have predestined fates. Each of the hand was meant for a specific purpose. Each power retained the memories of every person who ever had that power. Who they were supposed to love and what they were supposed to do was already known.

The way the story unfolded it could be a standalone, but it also felt like the beginning of a series. It didn’t end on a cliffhanger, but several things were left open ended. The end was weird because there was and wasn’t a solid conclusion.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

27015399Rating: 5 stars

Series: Kingmaker Chronicles #1

Wow! I can’t stop thinking about this book. I’m already tempted to reread it. In terms of quality, plot, etc. it was only worth 4 stars. It’s been so long since I haven’t wanted to put a book down and have been completely enraptured by it. It finally happened with this book, so it gets 5 stars.

It’s hard to put into words why I liked this so much. It wasn’t perfect. It’s not ideal for a relationship to begin with the H kidnapping the h. The chemistry was there right from the start despite Griffin being an arrogant bastard. All things considered, Cat wasn’t treated badly aside from not having the freedom to go where she wanted. Any feelings she developed were real. Nothing occurred to cause Stockholm syndrome. Other people’s reactions to Cat’s objections about being held captive pissed me off. They acted like it was no big deal because Griffin was rich and powerful and she’d have a good life with him. Whether that was true or not it shouldn’t matter. Others had the nerve to get annoyed when she complained about being held captive, which made it hard for me to believe in the innate goodness in some of the side characters.

Cat was an amazing heroine! This book was great because of her. She didn’t put up with shit from anybody whether she could best them or not. Many heroines are tomboyish, which she was. Feminine is definitely not a word I would use to describe Cat, but unlike other tomboy heroines, she knew how to act and dress like a lady and didn’t shy away from it when it mattered. Most of the time she chose to be herself, which was blunt, bold, bossy, and sarcastic.

I shouldn’t like Griffin. I really shouldn’t, but I just can’t help it. The guy is charming as hell. Half of the things he did were aggravating, but it’s the kind of aggravating that’s both infuriating and endearing. Despite his arrogance, he was a decent guy. He never needlessly killed nor was he cruel. He was way too bossy and needed to taken down a peg or two sometimes, so I thoroughly enjoyed it when Cat would smack him when he acted like a self righteous jerk.

The world building was an original twist on Greek mythology. Cat’s magic was interesting, although if she resembles a specific mythological god or demigod I haven’t figured out who it is. As to Cat’s true identity, well that was so easy to figure out although it hasn’t officially been revealed. The clues have been numerous and aren’t cryptic.

Although I love most of the characters and their lighthearted banter, I wish they weren’t so easy to figure out. The bad guys are pure evil or at least do a poor job of hiding their disdain for the people they dislike. The good guys are so good it’s almost sickening. The women in Griffin’s family are particularly irritating. They mean well, but they’re incredibly naive and need some sense knocked into them. I agree with what Griffin’s family wants to do as the new rulers of Sinta, but most of them are so damn clueless when it comes to politics. It’s hard to believe they overthrew the previous rulers in the first place let alone have the ability to maintain their position.

I know most of this review sounds negative, but I loved the book! The issues didn’t detract from my enjoyment. The romance was perfect. It wasn’t slow moving, but Cat didn’t jump into anything without giving it serious thought first and putting up some resistance.